edsanders.com - Lubrication

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1916 Antique Cars Index


Q. What is the most important part to oil in the automobile?

A. The power plant is the most important part of the automobile chassis and in order to obtain continued efficient operation without overheating or diminution of power it is necessary to keep all interior working parts covered with a film of oil.

Q. What grade of lubricant is necessary for the engine, and how is it applied?

A. Only the best grade of cylinder oil should be used to lubricate the internal combustion motor and the viscosity or body required will depend upon the individual requirements of the power plant. Some engines have very closely fitting pistons and rings and tightly adjusted bearings which means that a light bodied oil must be used in order to form a film between the closely fitting parts. Other engines will operate better on medium grade oils, while an engine that has been run for a time so that the working parts have freed up will require heavier bodied oils in order to cushion the shock between worn parts.

In the simple forms of constant level splash feed lubrication systems the oil may be introduced through breather pipes in the side of the crankcase, as indicated at Fig. 268. In some power plants a mechanical oiler having individual pump feed is utilized as shown at Fig. 269. In this case in addition to introducing oil through the breather pipes G and K the mechanical oiler must be kept filled. This lubricator is driven by an extension of the pump shaft and has independent adjustments so the amount of oil going to each cylinder through the individual leads may be varied at will. The screw A regulates the oil supply to the rear cylinder, B to the third cylinder, C to the second cylinder and D to the first cylinder. The screws E and F regulate the amount of oil supplied the timing gear case. The breather pipe G is provided with an easily removable cap and is used as an oil reservoir filling tube, while the breather K which has a non-removable screen at the top is used only for relieving crank case compression.

In the motor shown at Fig. 270 a sight indicator which shows the level of oil in the crankcase gives notice when it is necessary to insert more lubricant through the oil filler opening at its side. Most motors used to-day employ one of the breather pipes as a filler and as the oil is carried in a sump integral with the crankcase it is not difficult for the lubricant to reach the container when introduced through the crankcase compression release tubes.

Fig. 268.-Showing Breather Pipes Through Which Oil May Be Introduced in Engine Base.

Q. Does the oil from the interior lubricate all parts of the power plant?

A. The oil supplied to the interior of the motor is depended on only to lubricate the parts contained in the engine crank case; these include the piston and cylinder walls, the piston rings, upper and lower connecting rod bearings, the main crank shaft bearings, the journals supporting the cam shaft, the cams, the valve operating plungers, and in some cases, the timing gears. There are a number of other points, however, on the exterior of the engine that need lubrication that cannot be reached from the interior.

Q. How are the exposed parts of engine lubricated?

A. In the engine shown at Fig. 269, for example, there are a number of exposed parts that need lubrication and that must be supplied either through the medium of a hand oil can or by grease cups attached to the points needing lubricant. On the top of the engine each of the valve operating rocker arms is provided with a small oil cup at its fulcrum point, or bearing on which it rocks, so these pins may be oiled daily. Some grease cups are provided on the fan supporting bracket, the timing gear case and the pump bearings. These are also intended to be screwed down one or two turns every day.

Fig. 269.-Pope-Hartford Engine With Individual Lead Mechanical Oiler.

Q. What parts of cooling system need oil?

A. The only parts of the cooling system that require lubrication, other than that obtained from the interior of the engine itself, are the bearings of the fan hub and those of the pump.

Q. How are fan bearings lubricated, and how often should lubricant be applied?

A. As is clearly shown at Fig. 270, a small grease cup is screwed into the fan hub and a few turns of this member suffices to lubricate the fan properly for several hundred miles of car service.

Q. What is the method of lubricating pump bearings?

A. Bearings of the circulating pump, which are of the plain bronze bushing type, need certain quantities of lubricant and this is introduced through small grease cups attached to the pump casing which are given a couple of turns each two or three hundred miles of car service.

Q. What parts of ignition system need oil?

A. Practically the only points in the ignition system requiring lubrication are the bearings of the magneto armature or the rotating parts of a primary timer.

Q. Describe lubricant to use in magneto and specify all points needing it.

A. The magneto armatures, for the most part, as well as the distributor shafts, are supported on anti-friction bearings of the ball type, and the mistake is often made of applying too much lubricant. Most magnetos have three oil holes, one over each armature bearing and one communicating to the distributor shaft bearings. Three or four drops of light sewing machine oil applied to each of these oil holes every five hundred miles of car operation is all that is necessary. A few drops should also be introduced on the rubbing parts of the contact breaker at the same time the rest of the device is oiled. If a magneto is oiled too freely, the armature may become oil-soaked which will injure the insulation and facilitate short circuit. In any event too much oil will cause serious trouble in the distributor or contact breaker by interfering with proper electrical contact of the platinum points or carbon brushes utilized to close the primary and secondary circuits respectively.

Q. What kind of lubricant should be used in primary timer?

A. A primary timer of the rolling contact form should be lubricated with a few drops of the same light dynamo oil or sewing machine lubricant that is used in the magneto bearings. Never use lubricants containing graphite around electrical apparatus.

Fig. 271.-How Grease Cups Are Applied for Clutch Lubrication.

Q. What types of clutches need oil, and how is it applied?

A. Plate clutches of the multiple disc pattern are the only types designed to run in lubricant and for the most part these revolve in a bath of oil. The general rule is to drain out the clutch case every five hundred miles or so, flush out with kerosene in order to clear out all sediment and then refill with from one to two quarts of either a very light machine oil or a mixture of one-half cylinder oil and one half kerosene. The amount of oil supplied, obviously, depends upon the capacity of the clutch case.

Q. Are there any clutches that can be run without oil?

A. Practically all cone clutches whether faced with leather or Raybestos and multiple disc clutches of the dry plate type are designed to run without lubrication. Applying oil to clutches of this character will reduce the friction adhesion to such a point that they will not transmit power.

Q. What parts of all clutches need lubrication?

A. The actuating yoke and the bearings on which the clutch driven member revolves when it is declutched require lubrication on all types of clutches. A typical clutch yoke assembly and the points needing lubrication are outlined at Fig. 271.

Q. What is the best lubricant for clutch actuating yoke or releasing rolls?

A. The clutch actuating yoke, when of the plain bearing type, is oiled with a small compression grease cup and the rolls carried by the releasing yoke in some types are also lubricated with grease because this substance is not apt to be squeezed out by the pressure existing at this bearing point. A grease cup also communicates with the thrust and radial bearings, used to support the clutch driven members.

Q. What points of friction disc transmission need oil?

A. The bearing points on the cross shaft and on the friction driving disc shaft are usually of the anti-friction type and are packed in grease and the supply is renewed through small compression grease CUps. The path for the sliding driven disc should also be kept well lubricated with oil so that this will move freely from one point to another in obtaining speed changes.

Q. Describe method of oiling planetary gearsets ?

A. Planetary gearsets are either housed in a casing so they revolve in an oil bath as in the Ford automobile or are carried in oil tight cases which may be filled with a light semi-fluid mineral oil through a suitable filler plug in the side of the gear case as in Buick cars.

Q. What is the common method of lubricating sliding gear transmission?

A. Sliding gear transmissions are invariably designed so the gears revolve in a mass of lubricant contained in the gear case. Transmissions of this nature are provided with a large removable cover plate, as shown at Fig. 272, and the grease may be easily introduced into the gear case to replenish any waste lubricant. As a rule, the transmission case does not require attention more often than once in every two thousand miles and at the end of this period of operation it is advised by many authorities that the gear case be thoroughly cleaned and flushed with kerosene to remove all traces of the old grease and any metallic particles that may have been dislodged from the gear teeth. Some gears are designed to run with a moderately viscous graphite grease while other forms are designed to operate in a very heavy cylinder oil such as used in steam engines.

Fig. 272.-Typical Gearcase With Cover Removed to Show Large Opening Through Which Lubricant May Be Introduced.

Q. Are lubricants containing cork or wood fibers desirable for use in gearsets?

A. Some makers advertise greases that are guaranteed to silence noisy gearsets. These contain particles of cork or shredded wood designed to fill the space between the worn gear teeth and cushion the shock that oil or grease would not be capable of doing by itself. These greases should never be employed in gear sets if efficient operation is desired because they not only interpose an item of serious frictional resistance and consume power but are also entirely unsuited for the anti-friction ball or roller bearings used to support practically all change speed gear shafts.

Q. Why are greases containing animal fats or other organic fillers undesirable for motor car use?

A. Greases adulterated with animal fats to give them more body are unsuited for lubricating the motor vehicle parts because they become rancid after they have been used for a time and they liberate fatty acids which will injure the finished surfaces of the gears and anti-friction bearings. Greases of this nature gum up very easily and as they harden the revolving gears will cut paths in which they turn and no lubricant is supplied to the gear teeth though the transmission case may be half full of the solidified grease.

Q. What points of chain driving systems require lubrication?

A. The chains are practically the only parts requiring lubrication as the bearings of the jack-shaft and rear wheels are taken care of by suitable grease cups or lubricant packing while the sprockets will always receive sufficient lubricant from the chains.

Q. Describe method of lubricating driving chains.

A. Chains should never be lubricated by the indiscriminate application of oil or grease to the exterior, as this coating serves merely to collect road dust and grit which acts as an abrasive material to produce rapid depreciation of the chains and sprockets. The chains should be removed every five hundred miles and thoroughly cleaned with kerosene to remove all accumulated dirt and especially to wash the grit out from the joints in the chain links. After the chains have been thoroughly cleared by being allowed to soak for a time in the bath of kerosene they are removed and immersed in a vessel of suitable size containing a mixture of mineral grease and graphite in a semi-fluid condition which has been produced by heating. After the lubricant has had ample opportunity to penetrate into all the crevices between the chain links, rollers and bearing rivets, the chain is removed and the surplus lubricant wiped from the outside. The sprockets have been thoroughly cleaned while the chains have been cleaned or lubricated and the chains can be replaced without lubricating the sprockets.

Q. How are universal joints lubricated?

A. Universal joints are generally encased in grease retaining housings and do not need lubrication oftener than every month, or every thousand miles of car service. The dirty grease is removed by flushing out with kerosene and the joint may be refilled with transmission oil or light mineral grease depending on the construction. Some universal joints are provided with small compression grease cups which may be screwed down from time to time, while others mounted at the front end of a torque tube axle employing but one universal joint are provided with a separate oil lead from a mechanical oiler or with a large grease cup which lubricates the ball joint in which the universal joint is carried as well as the parts of the joint.

Q. Describe rear axle points needing lubrication and outline the lubricants to use.

A. There are a number of points in the rear construction that require lubrication, these being clearly shown at Fig. 273. The differential assembly and the driving gears as well as the bearings supporting these members are designed to operate in a constant bath of lubricant carried in the differential gear case. The wheels revolve on bearings of the anti-friction type and these are also contained in grease retaining, dust excluding housings. The brake actuating rod bearings and the various minor joints, such as the rotating spring chairs or seats and the various yoke and lever connections can be oiled from a hand oiler from time to time.

Q. How often should differential and driving gear assembly be greased ? A. The rear axle differential casing should be drained thoroughly of all lubricant and flushed out with kerosene every thousand miles. Some differential assemblies use a mixture of transmission oil and cylinder oil, others use light graphite grease, and in any event, enough lubricant should be placed in the case so it will reach nearly to the under portion of the driving shaft. A heavier lubricant is needed in hot weather than during the winter months when a mixture of half cylinder oil and half transmission oil is recommended.

Q. How often are wheels lubricated?

A. The wheel bearings are taken down, cleaned and repacked with light mineral or graphite grease every thousand miles.

Q. What points on the front axle need greasing, and how often ?

A. The principal points of the front axle that need frequent attention are the small oilers or areas/cups provided on the steering knuckle bolts and on the steering connections. The wheel bearings, which are contained in a grease tight hub, are packed in lubricant, the supply of which is renewed after the hub interior has been thoroughly cleaned out every thousand miles. A typical front hub assembly mounted on taper roller bearings is clearly outlined at Fig. 274, which also shows the grease cups carried on the end of the steering spindle bolt which supplies lubricant to the roller bearings that take the weight of the car and make for easy steering.

Fig. 274.-Showing Bearings in Hub of Front Wheel and Points on Steering Spindle Needing Oil.

Q. Where are steering gears lubricated?

A. Practically all steering gears have enclosed reduction gears and these are lubricated by a grease packing which need not be renewed except during the yearly overhauling. When the steering tube to which the wheel is attached passes through an outer casing, it is necessary to put a few drops of oil into this casing every week in order to prevent rusting and sticking of one tube inside of the other. The motor control rods also pass through the interior and while no provision is made for lubricating these as a rule it is good practice to loosen the connections at their lower end and lift them out.of the steering tube far enough to permit of oil being introduced. This need not be done oftener than two or three times a season.

Q. What frame parts need oil, and how often?

A. There are a multitude of small points of minor importance on the chassis that require lubrication in order to prevent untimely depreciation. Among these may be mentioned the clutch and brake pedal supporting shaft, the control lever shafts and the bearings for these members; the ends of the radius rod or torque tube, the various minor joints or yoke connections at the end of the spark and throttle lever members and the brake rods and other moving points where no regular provision is made for lubrication. These points should be gone over every two hundred and fifty or three hundred miles with a hand oil can containing heavy oil.

Q. Why should control lever tubes and bearings be oiled?

A. While the gear shift and emergency brake levers have only an oscillating movement and in the~ease of the selective transmission the gear shift lever may have a sidewise motion, it is necessary to oil these regularly because the control tubes may become rusted. As the shaft and tube for the emergency brake and gearshift lever are usually mounted one inside of the other, any deposit of rust will cause binding and will interfere with gear shifting or brake application. The same reason applies for lubricating the clutch and brake operating pedal.

Q. Describe lubrication of springs and outline best method of introducing oil between the spring leaves.

A. The spring shackles of practically all cars, even those of the cheaper runabouts, are provided with oil holes or small grease cups through which lubricant may be introduced at the bearing points between the spring eye and the shackle bolt. About once or twice a season it is good practice to introduce oil between the spring leaves in order that these members shall slide over each other freely which reduces the tendency to squeak, as well as improving spring flexibility. There are two methods of separating the spring leaves without actually taking the spring apart. One of these is to jack up the car by placing the weight raising jacks under the frame members so that the car weight will be taken off of the axle and springs. After the frame has been raised to the required height so the wheels clear the ground the weight of the axle construction will tend to separate the leaves of the springs slightly and graphite grease may be introduced between them with a thin piece of sheet brass or steel or the oil may be squirted in from the hand oil can. The best method of introducing oil is by using a simple fixture, as outlined at Fig. 270-A. This has two points, one of which is fixed, while the other is slidably mounted on a rod forming the bacl;bone of the device. A threaded screw provided with a T handle is adapted to bring the points together and as considerable pressure may be exerted on the thread of the screw it is possible to spread the spring leaves and introduce oil as shown at B without jacking up the car.

Fig. 275.-Outlining Simple Method of Putting Oil Between Spring Leaves.

Q. What parts of a car should be kept free from oil or grease at all times ?

A. Among the parts of the car that should be kept free from excessive accumulations of oil or grease may be mentioned the spark plugs and magneto of the ignition system, all electrical wiring, the clutch when of the cone or dry plate type, the brakes and the tires. Oil will rot rubber rapidly and any grease thrown on the tires from the axle should be wiped off immediately when discovered in order to prevent deterioration of the casing The same applies to the rubber insulation of the electric wiring.

Q. How can one tell if there is too much oil in the engine, and what is its effect?

A. Overlubrication of the motor is apt to produce carbon deposits and overheating because of these accumulations in the combustion chamber and also results in loss of power on account of the carbon deposits which may gum up the piston rings or the valves. If too much lubricating oil is supplied the engine the exhaust gas will be bluish white in color, and the amount of surplus oil is readily indicated by the density of the smoke. A light smoke when the engine is speeded up is not necessarily a sign of overlubrication and some closely fitted engines, especially those of the sleeve valve type, require to be copiously lubricated at all times.

Q. What are the indications of not enough oil in the power plant ?

A. If the engine seems to lose power and overheat and the trouble is not due to defective carburetion or cooling one should suspect that the engine is not receiving lubricant enough. The indications of lack of lubricant are so pronounced that they are readily recognized by even the novice and it is only in cases of extreme carelessness that the engine may get dry enough to indicate its distress by squeaking or grinding noises.

Q. What is the result if an excessive amount of grease is supplied to the gearcase or the rear axle?

A. Too much grease in the transmission or differential case is apt to be evidenced by leaking at the bearing points. This is especially noticeable in rear axles on account of the difficulty of having these members absolutely oil tight and still be free running. If too much grease is supplied to the differential case it is apt to run along the drive axles or shafts and escapes from the end of the axle into the brake drums from which point it is thrown around on the tire. This grease accumulation also interferes with the action of internal brakes.

Q. What is the basic rule to observe to secure efficient lubrication ?

A. First of all, the motorist must be prepared to buy and use only the best oils and greases, especially for motor lubrication. This assurance is obtained by buying the product of only reputable manufacturers of lubricants and paying enough for them to procure material of the proper quality. A comprehensive lubrication chart showing the important points demanding lubrication on a Chalmers chassis is clearly outlined at Fig. 276 while the lubrication chart prepared by the engineers of the Overland Company is presented in the form of a folding plate, Fig. 276a. The schedule of lubrication appended applies to the Chalmers chassis but as this is typical of standard design the instructions given can be followed to advantage in other cars of similar con- struction.

1916 Antique Cars Index

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Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Ed Sanders.